COVID-19 forces schools to make changes to grading

With the COVID-19 pandemic going around, many students are spending their last days of school in their homes, on a device to prevent the spread of the mystery disease. With school now online for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year, school boards have had to make changes to how grading is done. In Grayslake North, there are changes taking place. 

Grades can change to show student progress, but grades cannot be finalized below the grade the student earned on March 28. Students will not fail courses and they will be given options by their teachers and counselors to complete and pass courses. The state of Illinois implemented the “do no harm” criteria for all Illinois high schools. Finals for this semester have been eliminated. A semester exam is not equitable for students when they have not had consistent face to face instruction by a licensed teacher. AP exams this semester are web-based from student’s home, free response, and take about 45 minutes,” said counselor Megan Stenberg.

At Grayslake North, students only have the chance to raise their grade as of March 28; it can go no lower. Due to this, there tends to be less stress about whether an assignment is good or not, which in a time such as this can be beneficial. Due to this change in school, AP tests for North have changed a great deal as well. 

“The AP exam is very different as it is now only a 45 minute exam which I like but don’t like because students can just use their notes the whole time so I felt discouraged to study and felt like colleges aren’t going to take the credit for the scores on exams,” said junior Victor Solano. 

Though the changes to the AP exams for this year, there is the possible issue of student cheating in some way. With the new grading as well, students with good grades when in school might no longer be doing work because their grades can not go down so they feel as if they don’t need to try anymore. 

“I feel like it’s definitely a good system to have in place at a time like this. Not everybody has the same opportunities during this pandemic, and I feel like it’s a really good idea not to let grades drop because of it,”  said junior Lauren Hunt. 

With the changes to the grading and finals, it works well for students who do not have the same opportunities as others. Opportunities such as WiFi, a charger, school books needed for assignments, and more. This gives help to students who have not as many tools  as others because even though they may not have excess to what they normally need or would get for school, they do not have to worry about their GPA going down. 

“The new grading benefits students. During e-learning, students are able to focus on increasing their grades rather than worrying about their grades dipping below where they were at. There can only be an increase in grades, and that is really giving students opportunities,” Stenberg said.